What the bleep is a Talent Community?

What a talent community is


Check out this Thursday’s free webinar at 11 AM CST, “What the <bleep> is a Talent Community?”  Participants are eligible for HRCI recertification credits.  Not able to attend?  We also offer free webinars on demand.

What the Heck is a Talent Community?

There are buzz words that happen in any industry and recruiting and HR is no different.  Some of my favorite buzz words of recruitment and HR past include: social media recruiting, seat at the table, and employment branding.  Contrary to some popular opinion, buzz words should not be banned as they  provide benefit and insight i into the industry in which they serve because they help drive the viral nature of conversation and learning through the principles we discuss.  One buzz word that has come to light is the idea of a talent community.  This is a topic that Rayanne has written about before on the blog (read it here), but after careful thought I decided to try to dissect the buzz word and get do to the business of what is a talent community and how it can be used to drive candidates, candidates, and engagement to the organizations that we serve.

The best definition of a talent community is this,  ” A Talent Community is a place, sometimes online, that is created for targeted, qualified individuals to engage with company representatives to develop a sustainable pipeline for sourcing, recruiting, training and development,” via Maren Hogan.

Talent Communities Differ From Talent Networks & Talent Pools

A talent community is a community not always controlled or managed by an company, organization, or team of recruiters who take advantage of said community for recruiting, sourcing, and talent pipeline purposes.  It is also not an email distribution list or a one sided marketing campaign or applicant tracking database.  These communities require engagement, relationships, learning, and most importantly conversation.

For companies, it is not only important to develop relationships within these outside talent communities and networks which is why our industry has relied heavily on forums like Glassdoor or even LinkedIn Groups to be able to build a candidate  pipeline.  The point of contention for most is that talent communities aren’t easy, and require a certain amount of effort, faith, and time before they begin to establish a positive ROI.

Is a Blog a Talent Community?

Talent communities are a lot like blogs.  Just because you build it does not mean they will come.  It requires conversations, marketing, and content that appeals to your intended audience, and for most corporate recruiting and HR teams, this level of candidate engagement is a foreign concept.  I spend a great deal of time designing, crafting, managing, and developing content here on this blog.  I also spend almost equal amounts of time asking questions, having discussion, and getting to know the talent community I wish to engage and build.  My interactions don’t guarantee success.   This is also true when a recruiter engages a job seeker, they won’t always accept their job offer.

So if the concept of talent communities are so murky and wishy washy why should companies give it any effort?  Because relationships are built on things like trust, engagement, and personal stories, and that is what sets a talent community apart.

Come and learn more about Talent Communities and how they differ from talent networks and talent pools this Thursday at 11 Am CST during our free webinar here on Blogging4Jobs.  Register now for What the <bleep> is a Talent Community? and join in our discussion on what makes a community and community and why talent management teams should engage their potential candidate pools using an engaged recruiting relationship approach.  

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. […] in Tulsa last week at #OKHR, I spent some time talking with Jessica Miller-Merrell (1) about the buzz surrounding “Talent Communities.”  As we’re still in the ‘honeymoon phase’ with the term, it’s […]


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